Yu-Gi-Oh!: 10 Monster Cards That Look Weak But Are Actually Incredibly Strong
From a marshmallow to a fairy, these monster cards may look like they are no threat, but they pack a punch!
From the show itself to the TCG, the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise is always full of surprises. Characters that seem weak can become absolute powerhouses out of nowhere (not that the strongest/weakest divide is always the most logical in the world of anime) and the exact opposite can happen too. Cards themselves fall in and out of favor and can be banned or unbanned as the meta dictates. It’s tough to follow.
For newer players, the most common question will naturally be this: which are the most powerful cards? Of course, the answer to this one will vary dramatically depending on the deck and other variables, but here’s something important to bear in mind: raw ATK numbers aren’t everything, nor is a fearsome monster design. Here are some Monster Cards that are far stronger than they may appear, whether in terms of their card art, their effects, or a combination of factors.
We’re going to kick things off with a creature from one of the most unique and quirky archetypes in the game: Toon Monsters. These wacky cards were wielded by Maximillion Pegasus, one of the most eccentric and dastardly anime villains this side of Dragon Ball. Much like Pegasus himself, these cards are deceptively deadly.
Players who have used Toon decks will know that they revolve around keeping the Toon World card on the board and attacking directly with Toon Monsters. Many of them lack direct firepower, but the Blue-Eyes Toon Dragon is, despite its silly cutesy look, every bit as strong as the iconic Blue-Eyes White Dragon itself. 3000 ATK and 2500 DEF is nothing to mess with when it’s coming straight at your Life Points.
Injection Fairy Lily doesn’t look like anything at all at first glance. 400 ATK, 1500 DEF, and artwork that makes her look about as threatening as Tinker Bell of Peter Pan fame? Not exactly terrifying stuff. Still, there’s much more to this Level 3 monster.
The key to the card’s strength lies in its effect, which allows the player to sacrifice 2000 Life Points during either Duelist’s turn to give it an additional 3000 ATK during that damage calculation. This makes for a great combo with Cyberkinetic Magician, as well as an all-around great way to stop a lot of monsters in their tracks. Its effect is very strong, unique, and tough to stop, a classic surprise powerhouse of the TCG.
8. Chainsaw Insect
In a game chock full of huge, terrifying dragons, demons, and everything else besides, a humble little insect is far from the greatest nightmare fuel around. Even if freakish chainsaw-mandibles do give it a bit of an edge over most other bugs.
To underestimate Chainsaw Insect, however, is to reckon without its shocking power. 2400 ATK is among the highest values a Level 4 monster has even been given, and while the opponent gets to draw a card whenever it battles, this may not be as heavy a penalty as experienced players may think. This classic card can be very effective, and if your aim is to make your opponent deck out, its downside can be an advantage!
7. The Calculator
Once again, seemingly sentient calculators are probably the least of your concerns when it comes to the threats of the Yu-Gi-Oh! world. You can’t count this handy little math machine out, though, regardless of the fact that it has zero DEF and no actual ATK value of its own.
The beauty of The Calculator is that its power is potentially sky-high. It’s very dependant, as its effect explains, on its allies. It can be used alongside multiple Metal Reflect Slimes, cards that can alter their own levels or with any deck that swarms the field effectively to add up to a huge heap of trouble for your opponent.
Stats-wise, Marshmallon really isn’t getting anywhere with 300 ATK and 500 DEF. Just about any viable monster in the game could effortlessly trample this thing underfoot and continue on their merry way, except… none of them can really.
This adorable little Light Monster is immune to destruction through battle, making it an insurmountable hurdle in some situations (much like the similar Spirit Reaper). In emergency situations, it can be a huge asset, though it’s rather niche and the furthest thing from a deck essential. Dealing 1000 damage when it’s attacked in face-down defense position just adds to its utility too.
What’s more dangerous, the card that deals enormous damage or the card that allows that card to get onto the field and deal enormous damage? Both, really, which is the key to Witch of the Black Forest’s tremendous power.
This Level 4 Spellcaster has humble stats, but has an effect that allows the player to grab any monster with 1500 or less DEF from their deck when it’s sent from the field to the graveyard. Some very powerful attackers have low defense points, which made this searcher super strong. It was banned for a long time before its effect was nerfed (the searched monster’s effect(s) cannot be activated that turn). Still, veteran Duelists remember just how powerful this humble-looking card was.
4. Block Dragon
When it comes to harmless-looking Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, Block Dragon probably takes the cake. It might resemble something that a proud child runs to show their parents when they come to pick them up from preschool, but this card is absolutely no joke.
2500 ATK is nothing to sniff at, even if it is very lacking for a Level 8 monster. 3000 DEF is solid too, but it’s really about the summoning conditions. It’s Special Summoned by banishing three of your Earth Monsters, can summon itself back and prevents Earth monsters being destroyed through any other means than battle. Once a turn, you can also nab three Rock monsters with a total level of 8 or more from your hand. In short, it’s very handy when it comes to linking and has proven surprisingly popular.
3. The Little Swordsman Of Aile
A Level 3 Warrior with 800 ATK and 1300 DEF? That’s nothing. Warrior decks have all manner of great supportive monsters, and this little guy’s effect (it can boost its power by 700 for the rest of the turn by sacrificing another of its controller’s monsters) isn’t up to snuff either.
Completely unworthy of an anime hero like Yugi Moto? You might think so, but The Little Swordsman of Aile has some neat loopholes it can exploit. As the Yu-Gi-Oh! Wiki details, both the ‘Quillbolt Loop’ (Quillbolt Hedgehog, a Tuner and Imperial Iron Wall) and the ‘Gigaplant Loop’ (Superalloy Beast Raptinus and a pair of Gigaplants) allow it to gain that +700 boost as many times as the player wishes, setting up a devastating blow. Should a player ever manage to pull this combo off on you, you’ll never doubt The Little Swordsman of Aile again.
There are lots of typical elements that make a dragon intimidating. A super-spiky tail and fiery breath, for instance, as seen with Harry Potter’s Hungarian Horntail. What doesn't make a dragon so scary? Adding enormous amounts of goofy fur to it.
“It’s a snowfield-dwelling, giant-ear-sporting, super-acoustic, snowball-shaped mutant dragon! There’s no way anybody can escape,” the card proudly proclaims. As silly as all this is, though, this snowy rabbit/dragon oddity is surprisingly powerful. 2950 ATK and 2900 DEF is very strong for a Normal Monster (though it is Level 8), also opening it up to a range of other buffs and strategies.
1. Don Thousand/Monster C
Of course, the Don Thousand cards aren’t part of standard play at all. They were introduced in Japanese Boss Duels, in which groups of players could challenge a ‘boss’ player during special events. Against a group, of course, the boss needed some extra firepower, which is where some very special cards came in.
Don Thousand/Monster C is the very pinnacle of this concept, looking largely harmless. Hilariously, though, it has 10000 ATK and 10000 DEF, can only be Special Summoned on the destruction of a Don Thousand/Monster B (so as to represent the next stage of the boss battle). It can’t attack, mercifully, but it can’t be destroyed by card effects either, and has another effect that makes the opponent lose if they haven’t declared an attack that turn. Scary stuff indeed!